Highlighted Features:



















iTunes & App Store Apple iTunes



Elan Form Etch | Hard-shell Etched Leather Case 



« Wednesday Website of the Week: Dispatches From The Island | Main | Don't Forget: TDL Live Returns Tonight »

Retro Tech Tuesday: The CED Player

Don't you dare call it a laserdisc player!? No, this beauty, from my personal collection is the CED Player, or capacitance electronic disc. It was the brainchild of RCA (this player is by the folks formerly known as RadioShack) and it could've ruled the at-home movie-watching world if it wasn't for those VHS and Betamax brats. There were some limitations that kept CEDs from getting off the ground though, despite heavy investment by RCA.

First, as hard as it is to believe, unlike laserdiscs, CED players had physical needles that played grooves in a record, just like a phonograph. (it's a little more complicated than that. See the wiki page for more info.) Keeping the records as close to scratch-free as possible was key, hence the records are permanently placed inside thick plastic sleeves, and the whole thing gets inserted into the player, kind of like the early CD ROM trays.

Second, these things are heavy. Very heavy. A handful would probably weigh more than your whole DVD collection. You had to be careful not to stack them on top of each other, as the weight could warp the records at the bottom.

Third, the movie selection left something to be desired, although it appears every Charles Bronson movie ever made was available.

And of course, as Betamax and VHS entered the scene, there was the little fact that CED's were play-only devices. 

Still, the CED was the first way to experience Star Wars at home in stereo, and it serves today as an odd and finicky format. The video quality was similar to VHS, but it had something about it that just "felt" a little different, and for reasons I still can quite figure out, TRON on CED was a real headache inducer for me. It's hard to keep the machines humming along today. Mine, like several is the victim of a stretched/warped drive belt, so buyer beware. Oh, and I had to buy a special extra heavy duty shelving unit to store the CED's on after the closet shelf was dangerously close to breaking.

Come to think of it, it probably would've never worked as a mobile media solution either, seeing how a small child could probably stop breathing if just one or two discs fell on them.

Reader Comments (1)

Well written. Do you know that the digital dish TV network allows you to have hundreds of channel. Satellite TV network has variety of channels starting from basic channels, music video channels for children, educational channels and family channels. You also get to watch your local channels at much affordable rates.

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>